According to ABC News, librarians are rated No 8 of the least stressful jobs in US (via Jobs with least stress best outlook). Sure – obviously those who did the listings do not get to experience budget slash, never ending auditing procedures, escalating currency exchange, information literacy that can meet everyone’s needs and users’ complaints like we librarians do.
While our job stress level may not be on par with military personnel, airline pilots and firefighters, frustration and stress can still take its toll when performing our daily tasks : endless meetings, bureaucracy, KPIs to be over achieved or worst case scenario a toxic work environment to put up with. While some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can interfere with productivity and impact physical and emotional health.
Checkout some of the ways to destress – design with the profession of librarian in mind :
- Take a walk – When things get to be too much, take a quick break. Rather than be stuck in a rut, get up from your desk and walk around! There’s plenty of space in the library for you to walk and you could also politely tell off users who are eating Big Mac at the reading tables to go outside and eat. Librarians sit too much and that’s hazardous for health.
- Pray or meditate – A great way to relax, especially after undergoing a lot of stress. It can help lower heart rates and blood pressure, and even improve cognitive performance.
Image taken from http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Muslim-woman-praying-REUTERS-640×480.jpg
- Exercise – Daily workouts. Physical activity causes the body to produce more endorphins and reduce stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise in any form can act as a stress reliever and distract individuals from any daily worries or concerns. Just 20 minutes of activity each day can do the body and mind wonders.
Image taken from http://benefits-of-exercise.org/best-cardio-exercises/
- Eat well – Proper nourishment will provide the energy to tackle what life brings including stress. Dark chocolate for example contain more polyphenols and flavonols than some fruit juices. It is known to lower blood pressure adding to a feeling of calmness and serenity. Other foods to look out for include asparagus, berries, avocados, cashews, walnut, oyster, orange and green tea.
- Get enough sleep – Restful sleep is an essential key to staying healthy and strong. Stressful situations can be approached more calmly when one is well rested.
- Take annual vacations – Take regular breaks from work. Add days to long weekends or take time off during semester break when there are not many users around.
- Take a two-minute mini vacation – Once back at work and start to feel stressed all over again, choose one of the favourite vacation memories and relive it without spending on the airfare! This helps us to recognize we have a choice in how we feel during a stressful moment.
- Aromatherapy – keep essential oils on the office table. Sniffing a favourite scent or two could help us relax and aromatherapy has also been shown to reduce stress levels.
Image taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/naomi_king/7796400432/
- Gratitude – a powerful force that can expand personal happiness, improve health and help us cope with stress. People who consciously focus on gratitude, experience greater emotional wellbeing and physical health than those who don’t.
Image taken from http://www.pinterest.com/pin/495325658989028655/
- Create cushions in the calendar year – Creating cushions in daily schedule is a good tactic to reduce risk for stress. Leave enough time between getting from point A to point B, whether getting to and from meetings, classes, or getting from home to work to dinner plans to help diffuse potential stressors that may arise that are out of control.
- Make time for yourself – Give yourself a break, find a hobby and devote yourself to it at least 1 hour a day. This will help us recharge and clear our mind of worry and stress. Know that it is not selfish to want time for yourself even for just a little while.
Ultimately, lets be thankful for the lemons and lets turn these lemons into refreshing and rejuvenating lemonade! Above all, be a happy librarian.
- 10 ways to destress at work (Reader’s Digest)
- 10 ways to de-stress your mind and body (Chopra Centered Lifestyle)
- 101 ways to cope with teaching stress (Smart teaching.org)
- Escape to your happy place : Destressing on the job (My Library Dude)
- Jobs with least stress best outlook (ABC News)
- Stress management (Mayo Clinic)
- Take a two-minute vacation (Huffington Post)
- Tips to de-stress at workplace (The Times of India)
** Images belong to author unless otherwise stated.